History

The Church of St. Sava in London is one of the few Serbian Orthodox churches in Great Britain. It has been part of the Diocese of Great Britain and Scandinavia since 1990 and is led by His Grace, the Very Reverend Bishop Dositey.

The church was built as an Anglican church in 1903. It is a spacious three nave basilica with interior made in brick. After the Second World War, thanks to the support of both Queen Maria Karadjordjevic and Lady Paget, a great friend of the Serbian people through both world wars, as well as through love, efforts and donations of the parishioners, the church was purchased and adapted for the divine services of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Bishop Nikolay (Velimirovic) consecrated the church to celebrate the feast of Vidovdan in 1952. The interior is enhanced by the lovely copies of frescoes seen on the walls of the medieval Serbian monasteries. The iconostasis, engraved in walnut tree, is the work of Cvetan Nikolovski, an engraver from Ohrid. The design was completed by Dragomir Tadic, an architect from Belgrade. A deacon Marko Ilic painted the icons and the mosaic of St. Sava at the front of the church is the work of Snezana Jovcic-Oldja from Pancevo.

Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II and Prince Philip visited the church in July 1957 for the occasion of the baptism of Marija Tatjana, the daughter of Prince Andrija Karadjordjevic.

The church was also visited by two Serbian Patriarchs of blessed memory. Patriarch German came to visit on the 14 August 1969 while Patriarch Pavle came on the 29 September 2002 for the 50 anniversary of the consecration of the church.

In addition to the members of the Serbian Royal Family of Karadjordjevic other well known parishioners of the St. Sava church in London have been a lawyer and a Professor Slobodan Jovanovic, a writer Milos Crnjanski, a historian Miodrag Purkovic, a Professor Miodrag Stajic, a diplomat Kosta Pavlovic and a Professor Vladeta Jankovic.

In 1962, thanks to the efforts of Dragomir Petrovic-Uca, a Sunday School began within the church community. The children continue to learn the Serbian language, history and Orthodox faith. Also, there is “St. Sava” church choir, “Rastko” folk dance group and women’s group by the name of “Kosovka devojka”. Adjacent to the church, thanks to the efforts V. Rev. Miloje Nikolic, is the building named Bishop Nikolaj House that was added in 1972, functioning as the official premises and providing a church hall for the parishioners.

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